Analects: With Selections from Traditional Commentaries by Confucius

By Confucius

This version is going past others that principally depart readers to their very own units in knowing this cryptic paintings, via offering an entree into the textual content that parallels the conventional chinese language manner of imminent it: along Slingerland's beautiful rendering of the paintings are his translations of a variety of vintage chinese language commentaries that make clear tough passages, supply historic and cultural context, and invite the reader to consider more than a few interpretations. the suitable pupil variation, this quantity additionally encompasses a basic advent, notes, a number of appendices -- together with a thesaurus of technical phrases, references to fashionable Western scholarship that time the best way for additional examine, and an annotated bibliography.

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Extra info for Analects: With Selections from Traditional Commentaries

Sample text

10 Ziqin asked Zigong, “When our Master arrives in a state, he invariably finds out about its government. Does he actively seek out this information? ” Zigong answered, “Our Master obtains it through being courteous, refined, respectful, restrained and deferential. ” Huang Kan believes the point of this passage to be that the quality of rulership in a state is revealed in the sentiment of the common people, to which Confucius was particularly sensitive because of his virtuous nature. Rulers thus “give away” this 4 From Chapter 27, the “Record of the Dykes”; Legge 1967, vol.

Book One 5 information inadvertently to one as attuned as Confucius, who therefore does not have to make inquiries in the ordinary fashion. Zhu Xi believes that it is the rulers who, drawn by the power of the Master’s virtue, actively seek Confucius out to discuss the problems of governance. ” That is, while ordinary people consciously and deliberately pursue external goals, the sage focuses his attention upon his own inner virtue and allows external things to come to him naturally. Confucius does not actively pry or seek out information, but is so perfected in virtue that what he seeks comes to him unbidden, in a wu-wei fashion.

We see here the first expression of a theme that will be repeated throughout the Analects (cf. 32): the true lover of the Way is not concerned with externalities such as fine, abundant food or other material comforts. The general theme of Book One—that learning pertains to one’s actual deportment rather than to theoretical knowledge—is also reinforced. As Wang Shu comments: “The primary focus of students in ancient times was to cultivate themselves by being meticulous in speech and careful in action, rather than merely memorizing, reciting, and composing texts .

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